Stop “rewarding” me and just leave me alone!

In a TED talk that is very persuasive, Washington, D.C. author and speaker Dan Pink explains why traditional forms of reward and punishment do not actually improve productivity for the modern organization. Citing scientific studies, Pink illustrates how rewards improve only the most basic and repetitive of task output; tasks which are typically automated or outsourced to low-skilled labor. High thought work, on the other hand, is negatively impacted when rewards for performance are introduced.

This should – but probably won’t – have a big impact on recent pushes for “pay for performance” in both the U.S. government and the public school systems. What do you think? Do you find yourself nodding along as you hear Pink’s research and analytic conclusions? Or are you comfortable and satisfied with your current compensation structure?


  1. Pingback: mrmerlot (Adam Roades)
  2. Heather Ritz · September 22, 2009

    Interesting, but I believe many people will become lazy given too much freedom. Just remember this only applies with higher level (right brain) employees.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s